Summary: If the opportunity is the result of another’s disobedience, allow your obedience to take you to another level in Him! Remember that your obedience is connected to so many other people’s destinies! Prepare yourself to come into The King’s presence.
Opening illustration: [YOUTUBE Video of Golda Meir – 4th Prime Minister of Israel]
Introduction: This was the day that Esther would either end up a hero or end up dead. Yeah. I’m pretty sure I would have been tempted to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my head, and desperately pray that God would find some other woman – some other way – to save His people. Why me? Why here? Why now?
These are questions we often ask God when He calls us to be brave in less-than-ideal situations. When we wake up on that third day and it’s time to take that step of faith and move from the preparation stage to actually doing the hard things for God. Oh we’re bold in the preparing, but when it’s time to take that next step? Isn’t there an easier way, Father? Surely there’s someone else who’s more qualified … more available … more – I don’t know – “built” to handle these kinds of things?
But Esther saved the doubt and the drama, and instead responded with: “Then I will go.”
How to effectively use what is in your hand?
1. Be Empowered + Fearless (Esther 2:17-18)
Thousands of years ago, a woman's worth depended on how she looked. Esther was a metaphorical slave of her culture. Has it really changed for girls and women today? In my ministry, I meet many young women who are enslaved by the culture surrounding them, which eschews their true identity. As a result, they are blinded to God's purpose for their life.
We live in a media-saturated world which is communicating thousands of messages every day, consciously and unconsciously, to us. Advertisements, magazines and music videos teach girls that they are to be 'living dolls'; that their worth lies in their physical appearance. The result? Girls see their bodies as projects to be worked on as they strive to meet an unrealistic standard of beauty. I will never forget the young woman who told me at a youth group that as a result of the magazines that she consumed: "I am not enough."
God expects courage from his daughters. The book of Esther is clear evidence of this. Her courage has echoed through generations of Hebrews, but it ought to influence all women who call the Lord their Father. Our God is the same Messiah. When we live a life of fear we are not pursuing God’s best for us.
Whether it’s fear of rejection, fear of judgment, fear of being alone, or fear of suffering we must set it all aside and keep our eyes fixed on our Deliverer.
Where would we all be if Esther had chosen to stay silent? What if she had made her decision based on her fears rather than on her faith in God. She heeded the advice of her uncle Mordecai and recognized that God had destined her for such a time as this. And though she must have been terrified, she obeyed. Her courage was her obedience.
There is a greater message that God is trying to communicate to His daughters, through the story of Esther. I believe He wanted future generations of women to have this story to look back on to spur them on to courage. We needed a matriarch of valor to affirm the warrior that lives inside us once we have the Holy Spirit’s power. Esther’s legacy is one that says that fulfilling our God given purpose means that we cannot listen to the Enemy when he tells us that we aren’t strong enough, influential enough or valuable enough to be used by God.
There is a time that you have been made for. You have been placed in your job, in your marriage and in your family for a purpose. You have been given royal status in the Kingdom of God for such a time as this … for such a time as now. Listen to His leading and be ready to respond with courage when He calls.
Esther the Jewish slave was chosen as the new queen which put her in a position to petition the king for mercy on her people. But, Esther was only chosen as queen AFTER someone else refused to obey … This position was entrusted to her because someone disobeyed and Esther was willing to obey the King! She went a notch higher by even preparing herself to come into the presence of the king. Are you willing to obey your King of all kings and at the same time prepare yourself to come into His presence?
2. Stand up Boldly for Christ (Esther 4:13-17)
From a traditional standpoint, some may consider that Esther was indeed too bold and acted in a way that was not appropriate. Those with traditional mind sets believe that Esther should not have stood up to the king as she did. This was an inappropriate move for the day and age she was living in and out of line. Some may also think that this act was disrespectful in some way to her husband. Traditionalists today still do not think that it is right to stand up to your husband so boldly. They believe that women should listen to their husbands, and not interfere with what it is they want or believe because it is wrong.